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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

vii                                        TARSIPES                                     145

developed in two not very distant forms. As in the Kangaroos,
the atlas is open below. JPh. ursinus has 15 ribs ; the other species
the normal (for Marsupials) 13. Other points of likeness will be
mentioned under the description of the Koala. These animals

FIG. 72.—Skull of Wombat. Phascalomys loonibat. (Lateral view.) any, Angular pro-
cess ; cond, condyle of mandible; ex.oc, exoccipital ; ext.aud, opening of bony
auditory meatus ; ju, jxigal ; Icr, laclirymal ; nutx, maxilla ; nas, nasal ; p.max,
premaxilla ; sq, squamosal ; tyy tympanic. (From Parker and. Haswell's Zoology*}
mainly feed upon roots ; they live in companies in burrows. There
ore three species—Ph. ursinus, JPh. latif-rons, and JPA. mitchelli.
lj?i. ursinus is Tasmanian in range, the other two species South
Australian.
Sub-Fam. 4. Tarsipedinae.—The genus Tarsipes ought per-
haps to be removed from the present family. There is but a
single species, which is a small creature of 7 inches in total
length, of which the tail measures 4 inches. The teeth are
much dwindled, the formula being I f- C J- Pm ^- M -§-= 22. The
lower incisors are procumbent. The lower jaw, moreover, has
not the characteristic Marsupial inflection. The intestinal canal
is without the caecum present in the remaining Phalangeridae.
It is a curious fact that this aberrant little Phalanger should
come from Western Australia, like the even more aberrant
Myrmecobius. Like the latter also, Tarsipes has a long exsertile
tongue, with which, however, it extracts honey from flowers.
Probably it also catches minute insects in the corollas of the
flowers. It has been proved, in fact, that in captivity at any
rate the animal is insectivorous; for it has been known to
eat moths.
Faxn. 3.   KpanortMdae.—The extinct Epanortbidae of Pata-
TOL. X                                                                                                              J-